13 Dochakuka

Keling Maya: Post-traditional Media, Malaysian Cyberspace and Me, presented at the Aliran Semasa Symposium, 2013, at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.

Please Note: In this video the Japanese term ‘Dochakuka‘ is mispronounced ‘Dochakaku.’

“In the late 1990’s, as our children were growing up in Kuching, Sarawak, far from a Tamil milieu, I was always looking for ways to expose them to the sounds and images of Tamil culture. I found at the local night-market a copy of the 1995 film release, Muthu, starring Rajinikanth. I bought it for them and, to my delight, they loved it. What’s more, I found that I loved it too. Shortly afterwards, on a visit to Tokyo, I was surprised by a large billboard image of Rajinikanth in the Shibuya district. Somehow, Muthu had become a box-office sensation in Japan! Something ineffable in this icon from the notably colloquial
Tamil cinema, had enabled the film to achieve its unlikely crossover success in the equally idiosyncratic Japanese film world or nihon eiga kai. I recognized, in this anomalous crossover, the antithesis of the homogenization that was taking hold in the global arenas of contemporary art. “

The above is an extract from my essay contextualizing this project, titled The Koboi Project: diasporic Artist… diasporic Art, is included in Interlaced Journey: Diaspora and the Contemporary in Southeast Asian Art edited by Patrick D. Flores & Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani.

0 Performance
1 Keling Maya
2 Cyberspace
3 Model
4 Heterotopia
5 Rajinikanth
6 Heroes
7 Telinga Keling
8 Keling Babi
9 Duchamp
10 MGG Pillai
11 Pantun
12 Praxis
14 Post-tradition

5 Rajinikanth

Keling Maya: Post-traditional Media, Malaysian Cyberspace and Me, presented at the Aliran Semasa Symposium, 2013, at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.

Please Note: In this video the Japanese term ‘Dochakuka’ is mispronounced ‘Dochakaku.’

0 Performance
1 Keling Maya
2 Cyberspace
3 Model
4 Heterotopia
6 Heroes
7 Telinga Keling
8 Keling Babi
9 Duchamp
10 MGG Pillai
11 Pantun
12 Praxis
13 Dochakuka
14 Post-tradition
15 Philosophia Perennis

Murugan and Rajinikanth 6

“The borders are blurring through art!” – A. R. Rahman retweeted Will.i.am, who as appears Rajinikanth (Chitti) from Enthiran in a new music video titled ‘Action’ using what he calls ‘deep fake technology.’ Other films reprised in this music video are Singham, Maryada Ramanna, Aambala and Kopps.

I have, in my Koboi Project (2013 -present), been using the image of Rajinikanth as a signifier for just this kind of cross-boundary cultural communion. Please see –

Kedualan Si Koboi (Anamalai)
Cowboys and Indians (Kabali)
Kiasu Cowboys (Anamalai / Kabali)
Anugraham (Kabali)
Momotaro San (Muthu/ Kabali/ Kaala)

https://www.ndtv.com/entertainment/icymi-black-eyed-peas-new-song-action-has-a-rajinikanth-twist-2277247

Koboi’s Guest: Jun Edoki

edoki
For Cowboys and Indians: Tokyo Edition, at Courtyard Hiroo on 11th May 2018 at 7pm,  I am proud to announce that visionary film critic and promoter Fumio Furuya (a.k.a Jun Edoki), President of Eden Entertainment Inc., has accepted my invitation to attend the performance as an honoured guest. In 1998, Jun Edoki had the audacity to bring the film ‘Muthu Oduru Maharaja‘ (Muthu Dancing Maharaja) to the Tokyo audience. According Naman Ramachandran in  his biography of Rajinikanth, Edoki  found the movie in Singapore and took a copy back with him to Japan. He watched it with his wife and,  Ramachandran quotes Edoki saying, ” It was absolutely fascinating – even without subtitles … We became addicted to the point that we had to see at least part of the movie at least once a day”.

With absolute faith, Edoki took the movie around to distributors in Japan until Xanadeux released the film in 1998. I myself was amazed, upon a visit to Tokyo in 1998, to find the image of Thalaiva beaming over the streets of the city. That encounter on the streets of Tokyo in 1998 set into motion the ideas and approaches that inform the Koboi Project. Under the prevailing international marketing practice, global products are deliberately  differentiated to address specific markets (what Roland Robertson called dochakuka after the Japanese term dochaku)… Muthu in Japan was a media product that ‘crossed over’ without any such a priori considerations … it made a heart-to-heart connection to become a massive box-office success sans  dochakuka.

Image: https://twitter.com/EdokiJun

https://books.google.ca/books?id=3mzyPGSfwKMC&pg=PT196&lpg=PT196&dq=jun+edoki+kandaswamy+muthu&source=bl&ots=60Hhzrrfdq&sig=v_LH-2Gp_GWmwGN69YQylahFAMI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP1Lu0gt7aAhXqwlQKHcTDCu8Q6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=jun%20edoki%20kandaswamy%20muthu&f=false

https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/hi31v/syllabus/week18/robertson-1995.pdf

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Muthu: Odoru Maharaja

RajinitohatoImage: http://sambharmafia.blogspot.ca/2005/08/rajini-and-meena-adorn-indian-snack.html

While our Thalaiva launches his new political image in preparation for the next Tamil Nadu state elections, it is interesting to remember his earlier appearance on a spicy garam masala snack package marketed in Japan by the Tohato company. The film Muthu (1995), or Muthu: Odoru Maharaja (Muthu: Dancing Maharajah) as it was titled for its 1998 Japanese release, starred Rajinikanth and Meena, and was a surprise box-office success. The SUPERSTAR’s following in Japan has grown to become a large and uniquely Japanese fan base. While Rajinikanth’s oeuvre is deeply rooted in an uncompromisingly rustic Tamil idiom, Muthu, somehow, became a trans-cultural phenomena, crossing from a Tamil  vernacular into the Japanese one.